For Mental Agility, This is More Successful Than Brain Games

Image of someone with a hearing aid doing a brain game to improve cognitive ability.

Because it’s simple, soduku is a globally popular puzzle game. All you need in order to play is a few grids, a pencil, and some numbers. A very relaxing way to pass some time, for many individuals, is a soduku puzzle book. It’s an added bonus that it’s good for your brain.

It’s become popular to use “brain workouts” to manage cognitive decline. But there are other means of slowing cognitive decline. Current studies have revealed that hearing aids might be able to provide your brain with a little boost in mental activation, slowing down the progression of cognitive decline.

Mental Decline, What is it?

Your brain is a “use it or lose it” organ. Neural pathways will fizzle without appropriate stimulation. That’s why Sudoku has a tendency to keep you mentally active: it forces your brain to think, to creatively forge and reinforce a plethora of neural pathways.

While a certain amount of mental decline is a natural part of aging, there are some variables that can speed up or quicken that decline. A really potent danger for your cognitive health, as an example, is hearing loss. When your hearing starts to diminish, two things occur that really impact your brain:

  • You hear less: When you have less sound input, your auditory cortex (the part of your brain that deals with everything hearing-related) receives diminished stimulation. This can cause alterations to your brain (in some circumstances, for example, your brain begins to prioritize visual stimuli; but that’s not true for everyone). These changes have been linked to a higher danger of cognitive decline.
  • You go out less: Untreated hearing loss can cause some individuals to self-isolate in a detrimental way. As your hearing loss increases, it may just seem simpler to stay inside to avoid conversation. But this is not a good idea as it can deprive your brain of that needed stimulation.

Put together, these two things can be the cause of a significant change in your brain. Memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and eventually an increased risk of dementia have been linked to this sort of mental decline.

Can Hearing Aids Reverse Declines?

So if your hearing loss is neglected, this type of mental decline can be the result. And it’s pretty obvious what needs to be done to reverse these declines: have your hearing loss treated. For the majority of people with hearing loss, that means a shiny new pair of properly-calibrated hearing aids.

It’s well corroborated and also unexpected the degree that hearing aids can slow down mental decline. Approximately 100 people with hearing loss from the age of 62 to age 82 were surveyed by the University of Melbourne. Among those adults who used their hearing aids for at least 18 months, more than 97% said that their mental decline either stabilized or reversed.

That’s a nearly universal improvement, just from using hearing aids. We can learn a couple of things from this:

  • Stimulation is integral to your mental health, so that means anything that helps your auditory cortex stay active when it normally wouldn’t be, is most likely beneficial. This portion of your brain will continue to be vital and healthy as long as you continue to hear ( with assistance from hearing aids).
  • Helping you remain social is one of the primary functions of any set of hearing aids. And your brain stays more involved when you are social. When you can follow conversations it’s a lot more fun to talk with your friends.

Sudoko is Still a Smart Idea

This new research from the University of Melbourne isn’t the only one of it’s kind. If you have untreated hearing loss, numerous studies have demonstrated that using hearing aids can help slow down cognitive decline. But many people have hearing loss and just don’t recognize it. The symptoms can take you by surprise. So it’s worth making an appointment with your hearing specialist if you’ve been feeling a bit spacey, forgetful, or strained.

You should still continue doing Sudoko and other brain games. Keeping your brain agile and engaged in numerous different ways can help expand the total cognitive strength of your executive functions. Both hearing aids and Sudoku can help you work out your brain and keep yourself cognitively fit.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.